US Influence on Military Professionalism in the Philippines   [open pdf - 813KB]

"The United States and the Republic of the Philippines maintain a "special relationship" that can be traced back to the beginning of the 20th Century. During this period, the US has played a significant role in the development of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to what it is today. This thesis assesses the scope of US influence in shaping military professionalism in the Philippines. Maintaining military professionalism in the AFP is fundamental in keeping positive civil-military relations in the country. As an essential element in sustaining democracy, military professionalism directly impacts the status of US-Philippines bilateral relations and ensures the advancement of the 1951 Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT) objectives. This thesis analyzes several areas wherein the US has potentially played a role in influencing military professionalism, namely the Philippine Military Academy (PMA), attendance of Philippine cadets at US service academies, International Military Education and Training (IMET) program, and US-Philippines Mil-to-Mil exercises. In addition, this study also discusses the degree of US influence as the AFP deals with the Post-Cold War era, the new roles and missions related to the postmodern military, the Revolution in Military Affairs, and the US-led global war on terrorism. Finally, this thesis presents a case study of the July 2003 failed mutiny that involved a number of junior officers. The study proposes that professional-ism, or the lack thereof, is not an independent variable that determines whether or not the military will intervene in political affairs. Instead, it is a combination of strong civilian institutions, an effective and efficient military institution, solid oversight mechanisms, and highly professional armed forces that will preclude military adventurism and keep soldiers in the barracks."

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